Commitment Precision & Results - Jacksonville, Florida

What to do while the claim is pending?

Whenever a person is hurt, there are many different and substantial effects upon the life of the injured person. First, as has been briefly discussed above, the injured party must make the decision on whether they can or must continue to work. As covered above, that is a decision that you must make with your physicians, your employer, and your family.

Another very important factor is how to replace your vehicle while it has been damaged, or if it has been declared a total loss. What has not yet been covered is what statements you should or should not make. It is our experience that you absolutely should not discuss the merits or aspects of your claim with anyone unnecessarily.

Unfortunately, when it comes to money, people sometimes do very strange things, and the easiest way not to have to explain a comment you might have made which has been taken out of context, is to simply not make such comments. You may be requested to give sworn statements to an insurance company, whether it is your insurance company or the person at fault causing your injury. It is our advice that you do not give any such sworn statement outside the presence of your attorney. Insurance adjusters sometimes ask questions which the untrained injured victim does not understand, and mistakenly gives an innocent response which, later taken out of context, causes great damage to their claim. Further, it has been our experience that sometimes unscrupulous adjusters twist your words or get you to say things that are not entirely correct, again which will be held against you later. Again, the best way to avoid having to explain such comments is simply not to make them.

Another very important issue that you must realize is that if you are claiming physical and/or emotional damages, your previous physical/emotional condition becomes an issue, and the Defendant in the case is entitled to all of your medical records, and, in addition, all relevant information regarding your medical and emotional condition prior to this injury.

This brings up a couple of crucial points:

First, it is absolutely required that you do not miss any of your doctors’ appointments. As the defense is entitled to and will obtain all of your relevant medical records, if you miss some of your appointments, those “no-shows” are included in your chart. Invariably, a Defendant will argue that you are not really hurt as badly as you claim, for if you were, you would certainly make your doctors’ appointments. Accordingly, if you must miss an appointment, it is imperative you contact your physician before your appointment, and explain why you must miss the appointment. That explanation should be included in your chart, rather than simply marked as a “no-show.”

Next, it is equally crucial that you make all of your treating physicians aware of any and all previous injuries and conditions. It is our experience that insurance companies always argue that they should not pay all of the damages for your condition, as your problems were really caused from some previously existing condition. While this is usually an argument that can rebutted, it is incredibly difficult to overcome the appearance that a person claiming personal injuries is being untruthful about those injuries by “lying about or covering up” previously existing conditions.

Florida law absolutely recognizes that you are entitled to compensation for any exacerbation or worsening of any previously existing condition caused by this incident. What is crucial is that you are truthful in disclosing any such previously existing conditions.

Unfortunately, some of our past clients have failed to disclose a previous accident or slip-and-fall or workers’ compensation claim or injury of some kind, only to have the defense learn of them through some past medical record, and this omission by the injured party has cost them tens and tens of thousands of dollars. Accordingly, it is simply crucial that such conditions be disclosed to every doctor (as well as to your lawyer).

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444 E. Duval Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
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Phone: (904) 446-9817
Facsimile: (904) 446-9825
Toll Free: (800) 913-6646

E-Mail: info@wilnerfirm.com